Are we all Europeans now? Local, national and supranational identities of young adults

S Grundy, L Jamieson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The continued expansion and deepening of the European Union state raises important questions about whether there will be a corresponding development of pro-supranational feeling towards Europe. This paper is based on data drawn from a European Commission (EC) funded project on the 'Orientations of Young Men and Women to Citizenship and European Identity'. The project includes comparative surveys of 'representative samples' of young men and women aged 18-24 and samples of this age group on educational routes that potentially orient them to Europe beyond their national boundaries. This comparison of samples is made in paired sites with contrasting cultural and socio-political histories in terms of European affiliations and support for the European Union. The sites are: Vienna and Vorarlberg in Austria; Chemnitz and Bielefeld in East and West Germany; Madrid and Bilbao in Spain; Prague and Bratislava, the capitals of the Czech and Slovak Republics; Manchester, England and Edinburgh, Scotland in the UK. This paper examines patterns of local, national and supranational identity in the British samples in comparison to the other European sites. The typical respondent from Edinburgh and Manchester have very different orientations to their nation-state but they share a lack of European identity and disinterest in European issues that was matched only by residents of Bilbao. International comparision further demonstrates that a general correlation between levels of identification with nation-state and Europe masks a range of orientations to nation, state and Europe nurtured by a variety of geo-political contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages24
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2005


  • Europe
  • European
  • nation
  • citizen
  • identity
  • young adult


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